Renditions: Constraints Imposed by Laws on Torture [Updated November 6, 2006]   [open pdf - 131KB]

"This report discusses relevant international and domestic law restricting the transfer of persons to foreign states for the purpose of torture. The U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), and its domestic implementing legislation (the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998) impose the primary legal restrictions on the transfer of persons to countries where they would face torture. CAT and U.S. implementing legislation generally prohibit the rendition of persons to countries in most cases where they would more likely than not be tortured, though there are arguably limited exceptions to this prohibition. Under U.S. regulations implementing CAT, a person may be transferred to a country that provides credible assurances that the rendered person will not be tortured. Neither CAT nor implementing legislation prohibits the rendition of persons to countries where they would be subject to harsh interrogation techniques not rising to the level of torture. Besides CAT, additional obligations may be imposed upon U.S. rendition practice via the Geneva Conventions, the War Crimes Act, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32890
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